Correction: The Salugpungan International wishes to correct the title of the song which is “Salupongan” and not “Panaghiusa” as previously reported.
DAVAO CITY – More than a hundred Filipino artists and musicians are coming together in a musical collaboration for the campaign supporting the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.
Pele Navarro, project coordinator of the Salugpungan International said the musical collaboration started during the human rights caravan Manilakbayan where hundreds of Lumads from Mindanao trooped to the national capital to voice out their plight in their militarized communities and threats of mining companies in their ancestral lands.
“The way that it came about was Salugpungan International, being a solidarity network of individuals, organizations and institutions wanted to support the Manilakbayan and also saw the need, understood that there are many artists in the Philippines on the national level who wanted to also support the plight of the Lumads. Then Salugpungan International was able to network with different artists like Gloc-9, Tres Marias, Gary Granada and so many more and just reached out and basically invited them to come together and create and help and support the song that is written by Tunog Bobongan,” said Navarro.
Navarro said two songs were born out of the collaboration which is just “the first step” to recording an album by next year.
The songs “Mindanaw” and “Salupongan” (Unity) were written by Davao-based artist group Tunog Bobongan with the music arranged by Mindanaoan artist Onie Badiang, former bassist of the band Yano and also a former member of the groups Bagong Lumad and Asin.
On December 11, the music video for the song “Mindanaw” will be launched simultaneously in Davao City. The song’s lyrics tells the story of the island of Mindanao – its vast richness in minerals and the land of the indigenous peoples.
The song features veteran Filipino artists and musicians Gary Granada, Lolita Carbon, Maan Chua, Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua, Popong Landero, Pol Torrente, Dino Guevara of Brownman Revival and hiphop artists Blkd and Gloc-9. Two kudlung (native instrument) players from the Lumads of Talaingod, Davao del Norte and Bukidnon province are also part of the music video.
At the first part of the video, two students from Misfi Academy and Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Learning Center are seen playing in the fields and being called by their mother.
Navarro said the two students represent the students of community schools who are now occupying different evacuation centers in Davao City and Surigao del Norte after being closed down on allegations that the schoolsl are built by the New People’s Army.
Also in the video is Lumad leader Bai Bibyaon Ligkay who narrates in their native language their call for the mining companies and military to pull out from their ancestral lands.
“Where else shall we live if they mine Pantaron. We will lose our resources. Where will we get our boars, deers to feed the generation,” she said.
“Make them leave, Why are the soldiers encamping in Salugpungan, encamping within the homes of my grandchildren. I can never allow them to put up military barricades in Salugpungan,” Ligkay added.
The video is directed by indie film maker King Catoy. It moves the audience to commit to defend Mindanao and its people against development aggression and extractive mining.
Navarro also said the music video for the song, “Salupongan” (not “Panaghiusa” as previously reported) is targeted to be released by next year.
The song was also written by Tunog Bobongan and arranged by Badiang. The choir arrangements for the song was done by former Madrigal Singers Christopher Borela and additional vocal arrangements by Baihana’s Krina Punsalan-Cayabyab.
Salupongan is directed by internationally acclaimed director, Carlos Siguion-Reyna.
Like “Mindanaw”, the song also enjoins the public to stand for the rights of the Lumads and other indigenous peoples of the country.
Navarro said Lumad students who joined the Manilakbayan had a chance to share their experiences to the artists and musicians from Manila during the recording of the songs.
“Just seeing them coming and singing their songs, they are people of conscience so I think their actions speak for themselves. That they have a mind of their own, they know what is just and unjust. And if they listen to the Lumads, visit the camp, they were moved by their reality and their truths and that’s the opposite of what the government is saying,” said Navarro.
Participating artists include: actors and singers Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, Bo Cerrudo, Raul Montesa, Shiela Valderama-Martinez, Lorenz Martinez, Rachel Lastimosa, Bayang Barrios, Cris Villonco, Aicelle Santos, Dionibert Tuban, Noel Rayos, Myke Salomon, Poppert Berdanas, Rafael Sudayan, Gabriela Pangilinan, Phi Palmos, Kim Molina, Rica Nepomuceno, Neomi Gonzales, Carlon Matobato, Cheeno Uy Macaraig, Jerald Napoles, Celina Cristobal, Mae Paner; groups like Patatag composed of Rody Vera, Deng Silorio, Nonyx B., and Liza Marayan and Baihana composed of Krina Punsalan-Cayabyab, Anna Graham and Melinda Torre; and choirs – UP Cherubim and Seraphim headed by Dr. Elena Rivera-Mirano, and BulSu Saring Himig and Coro de Sta.Cecilia headed by Christopher Borela, with the special participation of the Tunog Bobongan kids.
Music for a cause
Navarro said they hope to “raise public awareness on the plight of the Lumad and the campaigns to save our schools and stop lumad killings and end militarization in the community.”
“This is just the first step, to get the artists involved in the campaign,” said Navarro.
“Actually Dino from Brownman Revival, he’s the spokesperson at UP Diliman Save Our Schools Network which will be launched on the day the video is going to be released,” Navarro shared.
He said a lot of artists has already pledged to help the Lumads and collaborate on recording other songs for them.
“They saw this reality that the Lumads are going through these injustices and it needs to be resolved, that the lumads should be given what’s due to them, the protection of their ancestral land, their schools, their communities. So the artists’ solidarity and spirit for the lumads was strengthened and I feel that a lot of them were committed for supporting even more,” said Navarro.
Navarro also shared that the proceeds from the donations made to get a copy of the MP3 of the two songs will be funding the water system project, which they hope to put up in the village of Dulyan, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
“The mp3 will be available online by the launch. If they will get the mp3 the public may donate and the proceeds will go to the water system project which is part of the adopt-a –community project by Salugpungan International with NAFCON and Kalikasan,” said Navarro.
The music video will be launched at the Matina Town Square on Friday.(davaotoday.com)